COLCHESTER United interim head coach Hayden Mullins believes they have the chance to steal a march on their relegation rivals with a win at Oldham Athletic tonight (kick-off 7pm).

The U’s head to Boundary Park looking to secure some precious points, in their battle for League Two survival.

Colchester go into the game five points above the relegation zone, with six games remaining.

And with their relegation rivals all playing tomorrow, boss Mullins feels it is a good opportunity for his side to gain an advantage with a vital win.

Mullins said: “It is a chance for us to steal a march on the other teams – if we do what we need to do.

“I’m not going to stand here and talk too much about what we’re going to do but we’re quietly confident.

“Hopefully it goes our way and then it’s down to the other guys but playing on a Friday could help.”

Mullins is still looking for his first victory as Colchester’s interim boss, having seen his side play out draws against Barrow and Bolton Wanderers over the Easter period.

“We’re happy with the two games and we’re looking forward to the game, on Friday,” said Mullins.

“We need to take confidence out of the two results.

“The boys have executed what we wanted to do really, really well in both games, albeit the last part of the game on Monday.

"Like I say, it’s positive and we’re looking to build on it.

“Barrow have had a real turn in form over the last few weeks.

“Towards the end of the game, they threw everything at us and they had nothing to lose.

“It was coming in from all angles and we have to respect the fact that they’re not a bad side.

“Sometimes, you have to respect that they did a job on us in the second half and nicked a point.”

Colchester have an excellent record at Boundary Park, over recent years.

The U's have not lost in their last ten visits to the venue and will be hoping that continues tonight against an Oldham side who have been somewhat inconsistent, of late.

The Latics head into the game on the back of a 4-1 triumph at Crawley Town.

Mullins said: “Where we’re at, in the business end of the season, we need to set up in a way where we need to get something positive out of the game.

“They’ve scored a lot and they’ve also conceded a lot so I think that tells you that you don’t know which Oldham will turn up!

“You’ll either get the attacking one that won 4-1 in their last game or you might get another one, which isn’t so attacking.

“So we’re setting up for how we want to set up and what we want to do – that’s the main thing.

“It’s about what we feel is the best way to play against them."

Mullins will be facing opposite number Keith Curle, who is vastly experienced in the game having managed more than 500 games in his career.

Mullins added: “Keith is a fantastic manager and he’s proven that.

“He’s a fantastic guy and for me personally, it’s going to be a great challenge.

“It’s one to look forward to but it’s not one that you focus on, because all of our focus is on how we’re going to set our boys up to go and play the game."